For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

While The Selection is being buzzed about as being “like” The Hunger Games, the similarities are far and few. Sure, there is a lottery to choose who is “lucky” and then paraded around in their finest clothing, but in my opinion that’s where they end. On that note, there are other books/stories that have similar stories – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, being the most standout in my head.

The Selection is more of a sort of Cinderella-type story than a dystopian. At times I forgot their world was even considered dystopian and instead was swept up into the world of fancy dresses and dreamy princes. I love reality-show type books, and that’s just what The Selection was to me, just without the cameras. Kiera has stated in the past that the inspiration for The Selection was Cinderella and the Book of Esther.

The ladies are each competing for a chance to marry the handsome prince and then be queen. America, our heroine, loves someone back home and is determined to stay in the castle as long as possible to forget him. The longer she stays, the more she discovers a side of Prince Maxon she likes. Meanwhile rebels are routinely attacking the castle, some are viciously violent and others just seem to like causing a bit of havoc. The rebels add in a dash of fear that make The Selection a fascinating read. Add in pretty fancy dresses (that cover…swoon!) and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed.

The Selection isn’t going to be for all dystopian fans. It’s much too light, but at the same time it’s a book that could very likely bring non-dystopian fans into the genre gently. It reads more like a contemporary at times and that’s pretty enticing. If you haven’t already heard the CW has picked up The Selection as a new TV show, so I’m excited to see how it turns out.

I received my copy of The Selection in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.